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Steak reward for supersleuth after busy week

TOM HUNT
Last updated 05:00 12/10/2012
Senior Constable Paul Fleck with Epic
KENT BLECHYNDEN/Fairfax NZ
DYNAMIC DUO: Senior Constable Paul Fleck with his 'reliable team-mate', Epic.

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Epic by name, epic by nature.

A Wellington police dog finished a busy week of chasing criminals by rounding up three fleeing men then attending an armed raid on a Taita house.

Four-year-old police dog Epic was getting "better as he gets older", his handler, Senior Constable Paul Fleck, said.

Since Saturday, Epic has helped capture a dozen alleged criminals.

At 1pm on Saturday a man was spotted running away from a house in Riverside Drive, Lower Hutt, with a stolen television. Epic tracked him down 800 metres away.

A 23-year-old Naenae man is facing a burglary charge.

At 3.30pm on Sunday three men tried breaking into the Whitireia cafeteria in Porirua but fled when the alarm went off.

Epic tracked them down to some bushes near the Pak'n Save.

Three Porirua men face burglary charges. Then at 1am on Tuesday police got reports of three men fighting in Whitehall St, Wainuiomata.

The men ran away but Epic tracked all three. One was taken into custody on a warrant for arrest that had been outstanding for three months. Two more were warned for fighting.

Epic's week ended with a busy morning yesterday.

Acting Senior Sergeant Rob Taylor, of Lower Hutt, said four men were spotted trying to break into a car in Seddon St, Naenae, about 12.30am.

Police found the suspects in a car in Waiwhetu Rd, Lower Hutt, shortly after, but the driver did not stop for police.

After a three-minute chase, police laid road spikes near Avalon Park, which stopped the car.

But three men ran away in different directions - across Avalon Park and down the Hutt River bank. Another was arrested at the car.

Epic rounded up all four within about 15 minutes.

"It was pretty super work by the dog," Mr Taylor said.

Mr Fleck said Epic managed to catch one offender within 300 metres of the car.

He then returned to the car and found another scent, which he tracked and caught a fleeing man. Coming back, he caught the fourth man.

Two of the fleeing offenders were bitten by Epic.

An imitation Glock pistol and an axe were found in the car.

Then at 4am yesterday, armed police - accompanied by Epic - raided a Taita house and arrested a man who was alleged to have stabbed a friend in High St, Lower Hutt, on Wednesday night.

"He is just a reliable team-mate," Mr Fleck said of Epic yesterday morning, as the pair started a well-earned four-day break.

"If he has had a good week he gets a bit of steak left over from the barbie."

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That piece of steak would be coming during this break, Mr Fleck said.

- The Dominion Post

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